The Intouchables

An aspiring actor from Afghanistan stars in a new Viennese theatre production.

Stage adaptions of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s 2001 novel “Mr. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran” have delighted audiences for years. Now Bagher Ahmadi stars in the Volkstheater’s version of this life-affirming story of an unusual friendship.1.jpg

Neglected by his father, Moses gets to know Monsieur Ibrahim (Michael Abendroth), a lovely elderly shopkeeper. The Jewish teen and the Muslim gentlemen may appear to be a dissimilar duo. But they soon build a perfect partnership.

The presence of the young chap quickly lifts the spirits of the visibly bored grocer. Moses, meanwhile, finally has someone he can share his secrets with.

Directed by Jan Gehler, this Volkstheater production is certain to find many admirers. The next performances of “Monsieur Ibrahim und die Blumen des Koran” are scheduled for tonight (VHS Hietzing) and Saturday (VZ Heiligenstadt).

For more information on the current repertoire, visit http://www.volkstheater.at

Photo: © Barbara Palffy / Volkstheater

The Sleepwalkers

An award-winning actor will read from an acclaimed French novel in Vienna tonight.1

“L’ordre du jour” brilliantly captures the ridiculously careless routine of decision-makers and bureaucrats in the 1930s, heralding the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany. Golden Globe laureate Klaus Maria Brandauer (Never Say Never Again, Out of Africa) will read from Eric Vuillard’s book at the Burgtheater on December the 18th.

Sabine Haupt is meanwhile starring in a play which premiered in Berlin six years ago. Penned by Sibylle Berg, the Vestibül version of “Es sagt mir nichts, das sogenannte Draußen” is directed by Martina Gredler who is also in charge of Richard Alfieri’s “Sechs Tanzstunden in sechs Wochen”, a well-crafted play powered by great performances and excellent musicianship.

“Es sagt mir nichts, das sogenannte Draußen” portrays a young woman’s ill-fated attempts to find love and respect in an increasingly uncertain sociological environment. Considering modern measures of communication, Berg’s play is a mesmerising mess – and an ideal platform for a brilliant actress like Haupt.

The German actress manages to compensate the script’s lack of tension towards the end
with her astonishing entertaining skills. The contested novelist’s play is without a doubt one of the most compelling one-woman play performances you will see this season.

For additional information on the Burgtheater repertoire, visit http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Katarina Šoškić

Pesut’s Panda

The Burgtheater is bringing a Croatian writer’s play to Vienna.1.jpg

Born in 1990, Dino Pesut’s has received several awards the past few years. Now Vienna’s prestigious Burgtheater stages “Der (vor)letzte Panda oder Die Statik” at its Vestibül stage. Based in Berlin, Pesut has managed to capture developments in society with delightful precision ever since his first play “The Pressure Of My Generation” in 2012.

“Der (vor)letzte Panda oder Die Statik” starring Annina Hunziker, Wiebke Yervis and Lukas Haasand will be performed tomorrow night as well as on Thursday and on the 16th of December.

Meanwhile, Steven Scharf was named Best Actor at this year’s Nestroy Award for his sensational performance in “Medea” at the Burgtheater. The Volkstheater’s Steffi Krautz – who has featured in a thoroughly enjoyable “Biedermann und die Brandstifter” (The Arsonists) – won the award for Best Actress.

>> http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Matthias Horn

Kingdoomed

The Burgtheater is leaving its rivals coughing on fumes with a brilliant “Don Karlos”.1.jpg

The theatre’s new director Martin Kusej had already staged the Friedrich Schiller play from 1787 at Munich’s Residenztheater. Creating a vile and hostile atmosphere, his four-and-a-half-hour Viennese version is pulling no punches. The Viennese “Don Karlos” has earned favourable reviews. It also received wide approval from audiences.

Schiller’s masterpiece portrays a bitter conflict between father and son and heinous political power games in in 16th century Spain. Thomas Loibl and Nils Strunk take lead roles in this compelling production.

“Don Karlos” will be performed tonight and on the 5th and 9th of December. For additional information on the prestigious theatre’s current repertoire, visit http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Matthias Horn

Crisis-ridden theatre fights on

The Volkstheater board is in the firing line as the institution’s budget difficulties are intensifying. Its repertoire nevertheless holds some true gems.

It seems as if the state-funded theatre is going from bad to worse as far as its finances are concerned. Between 2015 and 2018, its plays had an attendance rate of just 56 per cent, including a considerable high number of free tickets. Nevertheless substantial sums will be invested in its infrastructure. Performances will take place at the adjacent Museumsquartier as of January to renovate the prestigious institution.1.jpg

Volkstheater directors have never had a particularly experimental approach. But through the past decades, its bill has included not just solid performances of classic plays but also some spellbinding if not game-changing projects.

“Rojava”, a play on the dream of a functioning democracy in a war-ridden region, has stunned audiences earlier this year. Calle Fuhr’s adaption of “Die Leiden des jungen Werther” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has not disappointed either.

A New Year’s Eve performance of Max Frisch’s “The Arsonists” (Biedermann und die Brandstifter) is certain to be one of the cultural highlights of the final few weeks of the year.

Visit http://www.volkstheater.at for a detailed bill and information on tickets.

Photo: © Volkstheater / Instagram

Shall We Dance?

Andrea Eckert and Markus Meyer complement each other brilliantly in an Akademietheater play featuring fantastic music.1

“Sechs Tanzstunden in sechs Wochen” by American playwright Richard Alfieri portrays Lily, an ageing widow. Feeling lonesome, she decides to book dance lessons. Her teacher Michael helps her to crush the persistent bouts of self-doubt. As her health deteriorates, Michael stays by her side.

“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is a life-affirming play about friendship and compassion. Director Martina Gredler and set designer Sophie Lux have created a wonderful German adaption. Eckert and Meyer never disappoint while the band spread boundless joy. Spellbound audiences are guaranteed in Vienna on 14th, 27th and 31st of December.

>> http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Reinhard Werner